Tasty Feature, Needed A Little More Sask.

I enjoyed the provocative discussion of our student loan system, student debt and its effects on university students in Greg Beatty, Chris Morin and Rick Pollard’s piece last issue, “The Savage History of Student Debt”.

Their analysis may have been more powerful and comprehensive had there been inclusion of more Saskatchewan content. And there is lots available.

The Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives has published three in-depth discussions of Saskatchewan student debt: Improving Access to Affordable University Education in Saskatchewan in 2004; A Reappraisal of University Access and Affordability in 2009; and After the Freeze: Restoring University Affordability in 2011.

The 2004 study was instrumental in pressuring the provincial government to implement a tuition freeze; the 2009 study demonstrated conclusively that the rising cost of living was hurting students badly and the tuition freeze should remain intact and the 2011 study concluded that it was sensible for the government to effect a series of tuition reductions over time.

These studies also track the average student debt over the past ten years and provide the hard and hurtful numbers.

Free access to these CCPA publications can be found at the Saskatchewan Office’s website, policyalternatives.ca/offices/saskatchewan

p.s.:  John Conway (not your columnist, the other one) wrote the 2004 paper and Paul Gingrich authored the last two.

Brian Banks, Regina


Gross Beer: Very Interesting!

Having read many a piece on beer, craft beer & otherwise, it was enlightening to see such an originally conceived article on the topic of historical brewing methods (“Journey To Yesterbeer” by Jason Foster, Sept. 5-18).

Some years ago I experienced beer home-brewing as a creative and cost-saving pursuit. A term used by home beer makers is “buggy beer”, which is a word used to mean beer that has been invaded by undesirable species of microbes.

It seems the ancients were battling this problem all the time and in fact by today’s standards much of their beer was buggy! As Jason mentions, with wood being a chosen material for barrels, no doubt the pore structure of the wood could also determine the flora and fauna of the beer produced. Probably the best beer makers treasured and re-used successful barrels, which would contain colonies of the “good” brewing yeasts and fewer of the “bad” yeasts.

Thanks for the skinny on that stuff.

Robert Trofimenkoff, Regina


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